White House Correspondent Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer gives her take on the latest news from the White House

THE WHITE HOUSE

Biden’s July 2021 Executive Order promoting competition in the US economy proves its merit as the DoD doubles down on the effort. 

DIGITAL ASSETS

While India appears crypto-friendly overall, the Reserve Bank’s Deputy Governor has called for a crypto ban, on account of its likeness to a Ponzi scheme.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Allied forces coordinate defenses in the hopes of preventing further escalation with Russia. Ukraine could be invaded within the next 48 hours. 

*All this and more ahead!

Good Morning DC!

The President of Ukraine, Zelenskyy, in his video address to the nation said “We are told that the day of attack will be February 16” and invited Ukrainians to “hang national flags, put on blue and yellow ribbons, and show our unity to the whole world.”  

Global media reported his statement “as is,” only to have him walk it all back and dismiss it as “irony.” War is not a movie, and certainly not a comedy, so to have any serious statesman play scrabble and subtext is a concern, especially at a moment when the US Embassy is closing and relocating to Lviv, while American citizens and green card holders are urged to complete a form for emergency evacuation

Shortly after, the White House sent out a memo to the White House press corps billing the call between Biden and Boris Johnson as the phone call between Biden and Zelenskyy. 

You can’t make this up, and the level of confusion when we are all trying to report on the prospects of war is beyond make-believe. Yet, here we are.

WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER

Trevor Noah will provide the comedy act for the White House Correspondents dinner this April, WHCA has announced. 

ON THIS DAY

Susan B. Anthony, a pioneer crusader for the women’s suffrage movement in the United States, was born in Adams, Massachusetts.

THE WHITE HOUSE

On July 9, 2021, Biden signed Executive Order 14036 to promote competition in the US economy. Under Section 5 of the Order, the Department of Defense (DoD) was directed to submit a report to the Chair of the White House Competition Council regarding the state of competition within the defense industrial base (DIB) any recommendations for improvement. 

Today, the DoD released a new report on the state of competition in the defense industrial base across key defense sectors. Report finds that extreme consolidation poses risks to American national and economic security. The report emphasizes that promoting competition is a top priority for the DoD and outlines a series of actions that will be pursued to rebuild its competitive bench, lower costs for taxpayers, and safeguard national security.  

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions across agencies to support American leadership on clean manufacturing. These include the low-carbon production of the steel and aluminum needed for electric vehicles, wind turbines, solar panels, and clean concrete. 

DIGITAL ASSETS

The Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Shri T. Rabi Sankar has called for a crypto ban, comparing the digital currency to a Ponzi scheme. However, the Indian government is not keen to ban crypto, altogether.

TODAY’S CRYPTO PRICES

Bitcoin (BTC):$42,211.09

Ether (ETH):$2,868.90

SOL:$92.73

LUNA: $51.94

HMRC, the UK’s tax authority, has seized three NFTs and arrested three people on suspicion of tax fraud on the order of  £1.4 million.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS

Biden and Boris Johnson spoke on the phone yesterday. They discussed efforts to reinforce the defensive posture on NATO’s eastern flank, holding that the alliance is still open for diplomatic options with Russia. The two leaders agreed that  a “crucial window” for diplomacy still exists. “The leaders emphasized that any further incursion into Ukraine would result in a protracted crisis for Russia, with far reaching damage for both Russia and the world,” said No. 10 Spokesperson. “They also reiterated the need for European countries to reduce their dependence on Russian gas, a move which, more than any other, would strike at the heart of Russia’s strategic interests,” the spokesperson added.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III is departing today on a trip to Belgium, Poland, and Lithuania. During his first stop in Belgium, he is set to meet with Allied defense ministers and NATO leadership to discuss Russia’s military buildup on the border of Ukraine. 

Across the pond, the UK parliament is in recess, but the MPs will be called today after the second Cobra meeting for a briefing with Defense Secretary Ben Wallace regarding the evolving situation with Russia and Ukraine. 

The Duchess of Cornwall is in self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.

And that’s a wrap for this Tuesday morning, February 15, 2022. Good Morning DC will be back tomorrow to bring you the latest first. 

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Ksenija Pavlovic McAteer

Ksenija Pavlovic is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Pavlovic Today, The Chief White House Correspondent. Pavlovic was a Teaching Fellow and Doctoral Fellow in the Political Science department...